I don’t know many women -let alone plus size women -who can say that they are completely satisfied with their bodies. However, there is something to be said about being confident in your body and yourself that adds that certain “je ne sais quoi” to your appearance and disposition. But let’s be honest…. Sometimes in a world where all people do is speak about weight and being “skinny“, it’s hard to feel beautiful, let alone confident!
Just the other day when I was on the GO train going to Clarkson station, I overheard a group of guys talking. They were discussing girls they were interested in or dating, I wasn’t eavesdropping at that time so not sure exactly how the conversation started, but as they continued on about the girls, I couldn’t help but listen in horror. “Here’s a photo of her.” One guy said as he showed a picture of her to the others. “She’s big, look at her arms.” Said one of them. “Yeah, she was a lot smaller before.” Another guy showed a photo, “Look at HER, now she’s hot.” All them agreed at once, “Yeah, she’s got an amazing body.” They all kept saying.
On and on the conversation continued where the boys went on, bashing every girl who wasn’t deemed “hot” and all others were “fat” and “ugly”. Having not seen the photos, I can’t comment on whether “hot” meant “skinny” with big boobs and whether “fat” meant full-figured, but that’s not the point, the point is is that for 20 minutes this is all they talked about. There was no mention of personality, charisma, kindness, benevolence or beauty – it was all weight-focused. It even made me think to myself…. Do they think I’m fat too?
When I caught myself thinking this I got upset. But it’s so easy to get yourself in that frame of mind! It seems everyone in today’s society quantifies looks based on size, and it makes me sad. I’m going away with two girlfriends to the Dominican soon and my first thought was, will I be considered the “fat” one of the 3 because they’re both petite and I’m not only tall, but also full-figured? This has been a thought that has always circled in the back of my mind – and truly this is a fear induced by society’s norms and years of teasing and ridicule. I was teased for not looking like the “status quo” girls my age… Skinny sticks. Not saying there’s anything at all with that body type, it’s just different and I’ll NEVER fit in that mould – hence my despair as a child.
What I am trying to get at here is that we need to rise above society’s “categorization” of us. Allowing ourselves to be affected by this or even to entertain it will wear your confidence and can make you doubt yourself. What we need to do is stay true to ourselves, otherwise we leave ourselves vulnerable to other’s inconsequential opinions.
You bet your bottom dollar I strut passed those guys with my head held high. I love every curve on my body and I honour them – every tear shed from being teased, every pound I’ve gained or lost, every compliment I’ve ever received, ever insult I’ve been dealt… I own my body and only I get to choose how I feel about it.
We plus size, full figured, curvy, large -however you refer to it- women need to embrace and own our bodies. We need to show the world our vibrance, our happiness and our confidence.
Start off everyday looking at yourself in the mirror and telling yourself that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE CONFIDENT, THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER, I AM PERFECT IN MY OWN WAY.
The best way to rock your plus size body is to embody all those sentiments above and not to compare yourself to anyone else. Own you, own your body because no one else is in the same league as you. And this way, you become your own support system and this alleviates your reliance on other’s opinions or ways of categorizing you.
Rockin’ your plus size body in what is considered an “average” size bodied world (which is false but an ideal embedded in everyone’s minds) is to be confident and proud of it. Walk with confidence and don’t be afraid to share your opinions…. Or show people your softer side. This way, you will always be true to yourself and no one can fault you for being you, inside and out.
By: Catherine Norman